It was an early start for players and Ultras alike, as they boarded the coach to make the trip to Brandon, an amazing total of 37 travelling Ultras, arrived suitably refreshed, swelling the attendance to 82.

A clearly difficult surface combined with a determined and physical display from Brandon gave Henley an uncomfortable start to the game. The home side getting the ball forward quickly to their big, strong strike force. Indeed, their big number 9 looped in a header after 15 minutes, but it was disallowed for a tight offside call. As the half progressed the Henley centre halves Storey and Bell began to have the better of their opposite numbers, as the visitors saw out the early pressure and started to get their game going. Tejano and Field had headers narrowly wide, but the best chance came on 30 minutes, Field releasing Bruce through, but the Brandon keeper Samuelson was quick off his line and Bruce’s rushed effort rolled inches wide.

Brandon looked dangerous each time they attacked, none more so, than at set pieces, when their height posed a threat that Dixon dealt with well. As it was, it was Henley who took the lead on the stroke of half time, an Ablitt corner punched clear, recycled back into the box by Field where Tejano flicked a header into the far corner for 0-1 at HT.

Henley looked to have doubled their lead within a minute of the restart, Samuelson unable to hold Van Oene’s free-kick and Field bundling home the rebound, however the referee spotted an infringement and it was chalked off. Henley didn’t have to wait too long though, in the 68th minute Bruce was released down the left by Cowan, he hit the byline and fired in a cross which Field met with a controlled header to make it 0-2. Two minutes later it was 0-3 with a goal that looked straight off the training ground, Bruce’s diagonal free-kick headed back across goal by Field, the unmarked Hammond ghosting in to score. On 74 minutes Henley made it 0-4, Samuelson unable to hold Bull’s shot and Watling was hand to poke home the rebound. On 78 minutes Brandon scored a consolation goal, but what a fine goal it was, a thumping low drive, from fully 25 yards from Bogle making it 1-4. There was still time for Field to have the ball in the net again, but it was ruled out for offside.

A good win against tough opposition for Henley, even whilst not at our best, we had too much for the home side on the day, which saw us through to the quarter final stage. Our defence weathered the early onslaught, Storey, Bell, Shore and Hammond holding firm against a strong, physical, but fair Brandon attack. The Ultra’s MOTM went to Field, who yet again was involved in pretty much everything for Henley. Bruce’s creativity and Watling’s continued goal scoring run drew admiration, whilst Tejano, seemingly as always, metronomically dominated the midfield.

Many thanks to Brandon, who not only provided tough opposition, but also a great welcome and excellent hospitality, we wish them luck for the remainder of the season.